April 1 Snowstorm Causes Enormous Tree and Shrub Damage

March 29, 2017

On April 1, 1997 a cruel April Fools joke was played on the northeast region.  Twenty-five inches of heavy snow damaged and destroyed Mount Auburn’s treasured trees.  An outpouring of financial and moral support from hundreds of visitors, lot owners and supporters contributed over $120,000 for the recovery and replanting effort.

From the 1997 Annual Report:

“The April 1 snowstorm caused enormous damage to our tree and shrub collections.  Although cemetery operations continued, the grounds were closed to the public, and the horticulture staff performed the Herculean task of clearing roadways, removing dangerous hanging branches, taking down shattered trees and generally restoring the well-kept appearance of the Cemetery.  A total of 270 trees, largely ornamentals, were taken down, and hundreds of trees and shrubs extensively pruned to its usual well-groomed look thanks to the skilled and dedicated work of the entire staff.  Since then we have been planning for an extensive replanting effort that will begin in the fall of 1997.”

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